The use of propolis as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient in different food products is increasing, due to its antioxidant and bactericidal properties. These nutritional properties directly depend on its phenolic composition. For this reason, this study analysed the total contents of flavones and flavonols, flavanones and dihydroflavonols, and the antioxidant capacity by using the methods of ABTS and linoleic acid/β
-carotene in 99 samples of propolis from Spain and Chile. A rapid method was developed for quantifying these parameters in raw propolis using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy with a remote reflectance fibre-optic probe applied directly to the ground-up sample. The models developed allow for the determination of the total flavones and flavonols (0–183 mg quercetin/g propolis and 0–72 mg rutin/g propolis), of the total flavanones and dihydroflavonols (9–109 mg pinocembrin/g propolis extract), and of its antioxidant capacity by the ABTS method based on the reduction of the 2.2-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical cation(0–3212.6 nmol Trolox/mg of propolis) and of linoleic acid/β
-carotene (22–86% inhibition). The NIR spectroscopy models were applied in external validation to different samples of the calibration group, which led to the conclusion that the methods developed provide significantly identical data to the initial chemical data of reference.
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